Many Queenslander and Federation homes were constructed with transom windows or fanlight windows above doors and windows – both internal and external. These allowed for air flow and circulation.
There were various window fixtures designed and patented to enable easy opening of these windows. Sadly, over time many of these fixtures have been removed and discarded and the traditional window opening operators are now difficult to source. These are interchangeably referred to as transom operators, transom rods, transom lifters, or fanlight adjustors.
A relatively common type, particularly in Queensland homes was made by Reading Hardware Company in Reading, Pennsylvania. On the thumb lift at the base of the rod the company’s logo with “RHC” is impressed. These were made from mild steel with cast iron fittings and patented in the United States in 1899. Most versions have the year of patent impressed into the cast iron block which encases the holding levers and springs.
Another patented opener, generally used for fanlights above the front door is referred to as the Preston’s patent. This is a threaded rod fitted to a brass wheel which opens the window by turning the wheel with a rope that is fitted along the architrave of the door jamb.
While reproduction operators are available, we only source and restore original transom operators which are available for purchase.